A few years ago, I read a fascinating and somewhat controversial book called The Churching of America, by Roger Finke and Rodney Stark. In it the authors examined and brought to light the history of religion in America by arguing it works as a free market economy, an economy in which there are winners and losers. The authors were not pastors or theologians, but professors of sociology and they tackled the issue as sociologists. They do not speak much about orthodoxy or heterodoxy or faithful confessions but use the language of economics.

"The promises of God give what the commands of God ask, and fulfill what the law prescribes, that all things may be of God alone, both the commands and the fulfilling of the commands. He alone commands, He also alone fulfills." - Martin Luther, On Christian Liberty

Yes, I know. Some of you are wagging your heads. Not my dog! Oh, I have heard it before. 10 years ago, I was running with my young sons riding bikes next to me through a quiet, polite sort of neighborhood. Suddenly, the largest dog I have ever seen came running out of the house like a missile toward me, knocking me over and biting me on the arse. As I sternly backed the monster down, I saw the backs of my boys already a quarter mile down the road pedaling like mad.